The Australian Football League (AFL) returns to a more traditional format for Round 17, which kicks off on Thursday morning and concludes on Monday morning (ET). There are nine matches on the card and as always, we have you covered with previews and betting picks for all of them below. Good luck to everyone following!
AFL Round 17 Betting Picks
St Kilda Saints vs West Coast Eagles
Thursday 5:10am ET
St Kilda continue to impress in 2020 and look to have locked up an elusive finals berth. Last weekend they weren’t quite at their best, but they did enough to dispatch the Hawks and remain in sixth spot on the ladder.
West Coast’s struggles away from home continue to be an issue this season and it’s something they’ll need to fix ASAP now that the Grand Final, and most (if not all) of their finals matches will be played away from home. In Round 16 they were narrowly beaten by the Bulldogs, which saw them finish the weekend in fifth spot.
The Saints have been underestimated by bookies all season long, but will finally start favorites against a quality side. With the said, the Eagles do have a long list of stars out or this match, so the Saints should be even shorter than they are. We love them to cover the small spread to kick off the round.
Geelong Cats vs Richmond Tigers
Friday 5:50am ET
Geelong were absolutely on fire from the opening bounce against the Bombers to put the win beyond doubt before half time. The Cats are the form team of the competition and have locked in a top four spot and a double chance in the finals.
Richmond weren’t at their brilliant best against Fremantle last time out, but they were able to grind out an important win to remain in touch with the top four. The Tigers still have a number of key players to come back into the side for their finals push, so there’s plenty of scope for improvement.
The Cats are in irresistible form at the moment and catch a Tigers outfit that haven’t been great for five or six weeks now, despite ticking over the win column during that stretch. Tiger Tigers do have the capacity to flick the switch, but it’s impossible to bet against the Cats in their current form.
North Melbourne vs Fremantle Dockers
Saturday 12:10am ET
North Melbourne tired hard in patches against Port Adelaide last time out, but their lack of quality made it extremely hard to stay competitive on the scoreboard. The Kangaroos have now lost six on the spin and are second last on the ladder.
Fremantle were surprisingly poor against GWS in Round 15, but were able to get back to the way they were playing prior to that game when they upset the Demons last time out. The Dockers have unveiled a number of young stars of the future this season and have given their fans plenty to be excited about going forward.
Neither of these clubs can make the finals, but the Dockers are clearly the better of the two teams. Apart from their loss to GWS, the Dockers have been really good for five or six games now and they should be winning this very comfortably, providing they bring their usual intensity.
Port Adelaide Power vs Essendon Bombers
Saturday 3:05am ET
Port Adelaide continue to tick over the win column and were far too good for North Melbourne on the weekend. The Power have now been on top of the ladder at the end of 16 straight rounds and will likely continue that for the rest of the season.
Essendon were extremely disappointing against Geelong in Round 16, particularly in the first half when they were blown out of the park. They did stem the bleeding after half time, but the damage was already done and so are their finals hopes as a result.
The Bombers don’t have anything to play for now and even when they did they were still poor. Meanwhile, the Power are looking to hold onto a top two spot so they can host some finals and make a deep run towards a premiership. We’re expecting all one way traffic here and for the Power to win by 40+ points.
GWS Giants vs Melbourne Demons
Saturday 5:40am ET
GWS looked as though they were building nicely towards the finals with a couple of impressive wins in a row; however, their play against the Crows last time out was nothing short of pathetic. Inconsistency continues to plague the Giants and it just might cost them a finals spot if they don’t sort it out ASAP.
Melbourne are another team that have struggled for consistency this season and it looks like it’ll be their undoing. Their loss against a Dockers team with no finals aspirations was extremely poor, which resulted in Coach Goodwin dropping some harsh words on his players.
Neither side has filled us with confidence of late and that makes this a very difficult match to predict. It’ll be a low-bet game for sure, but we’ll slightly lean towards taking the Giants at the spread, simply because of their ability to flick the switch after a bad loss.
Carlton Blues vs Adelaide Crows
Saturday 11:05pm ET
Carlton were poor in the first half against Sydney and went down by as many as 39 points. They rallied back late in the second quarter and continued their push in the second half to eventually win in a thrilling finish. The Blues are still huge outsiders to make the eight, but they’ve still taken a couple of big steps forward this season.
Adelaide showed that their win over the Hawks was no fluke; as they went on to make it two in a row when they dispatched a quality Giants outfit. It’s been an extremely difficult season for all associated with the Crows, but at least they’ve been able to snatch a couple wins late in the season.
The bookies have given the Crows a little too much respect after a couple of wins in our opinion. The Blues are the much better of the two clubs and deserve to be at least three goal favorites. Blues -13.5 is one of the best plays of the round.
Hawthorn Hawks vs Western Bulldogs
Sunday 1:35am ET
Hawthorn were embarrassed in Round 15 when they got smashed by the then winless Crows by six goals, but they were able to be a bit more competitive last time out against the Saints, albeit in another loss. It’s been a rare poor season for a Hawks team that has had so much success over the last decade.
Western Bulldogs found themselves in a must win game against a quality West Coast team in Round 16. It was a see-sawing affair for the full four quarters, but they were able to come out on top by two points and keep their finals hopes well and truly alive.
This season couldn’t come to an end any quicker for the Hawks, whereas the Bulldogs are still fighting for a finals position. We expect intensity and desperation to be the deciding factor in this match and for the Bulldogs to come away with a very comfortable win.
Sydney Swans vs Brisbane Lions
Sunday 4:10am ET
Sydney looked as though they were on their way to rare back to back wins when they led the Blues by six goals during the second quarter of their Round 16 clash. They weren’t able to hold onto the momentum however, and ended up going down by five points. It’s been another tough season for a young Swans team in rebuild mode.
Brisbane got back to some of their better form against the Suns in the QClash, winning by 45 points at the Gabba. It was another best-on-ground performance for Lachie Neale who is just about a sure thing to win the Brownlow Medal. The Lions remain in second on the ladder and are extremely well placed for a big push towards a premiership.
We’re shocked to see the spread set at just 15.5 points in this one – the Lions should be at least four goal favorites. They’re the far, far better team and anything other than a dominant win would be a huge surprise.
Collingwood Magpies vs Gold Coast Suns
Monday 5:10am ET
Collingwood put up a decent fight against the Lions last time out, but ended up going down in a narrow loss. Their inability to convert from forward 50 entries continues to hurt them and it’s clearly their Achilles heel coming into the finals.
Gold Coast have been able to remain competitive for the majority of this season, which is something they certainly haven’t done in the past. They’ve unveiled a number of stars for the future and will be well-placed for a finals push next season if they can all get on the park.
The Magpies play the top-of-the-table Power in the last game of the season, so they simply have to take care of the Suns this weekend to remain in the box seat for a finals berth. We expect them to bring the heat from the opening bounce and to put this game to bed early.
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